fbpx If NC legalizes medical marijuana, what would be allowed? Here are some answers

If NC legalizes medical marijuana, what would be allowed? Here are some answers

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The North Carolina Senate is considering Senate Bill 711, The Compassionate Care Act, which would legalize medical marijuana in this state.

The sponsors say this act would give North Carolina the strictest medical marijuana law in the country.

Below are some questions and answers about who could get medical marijuana and how a medical marijuana law would be implemented if S711 becomes law.

This information is current as of  early August 2021 and is subject to change. The latest version of S711 is available at the N.C. General Assembly website.

Rules for patients

How would someone qualify to get medical marijuana?

A physician must do a full assessment of the patient’s medical history, including an in-person physical exam, and provide written certification that the patient has a debilitating medical condition for which cannabis would provide more benefits than risks.

How much medical marijuana would the patient be allowed to have?

The patient is allowed no more than a 30-day supply.

Would a patient need a special ID cards?

Patients and designated caregivers must get registration identification cards in order to lawfully purchase medical marijuana. The price is not set by the bill, but is capped at $50.

Would minors be allowed to use medical marijuana?

Medical cannabis could be provided to qualified patients under age 18 so long as it is not in an inhalable form.

Medical Conditions

What illnesses or health conditions would qualify for treatment with medical marijuana?

► Cancer, epilepsy, HIV, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Crohn’s disease. Sickle cell anemia, Parkinson’s disease.

â–ş Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) provided that the patient has evidence they experienced one or more traumatic events, such as military service in an active, was the victim of a violent or sexual crime, or that the person was a first responder.

â–ş Multiple sclerosis, cachexia or wasting syndrome.

â–ş Severe or persistent nausea that is related to end-of-life or hospice care, or in a person who is bedridden or homebound because of a condition (and the patient must not be pregnant).

â–ş Other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or that are comparable to those listed above.

I have another illness not listed — can that be added?

More health conditions could added to this list by the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. This board would be created if medical marijuana becomes legal.

Production and sales

Where would medical marijuana be produced and sold?

It would be produced at licensed production facilities and sold at licensed medical cannabis centers.

How many sales locations would there be?

Statewide, only 10 medical cannabis supplier licenses would be issued for the production or sales of medicinal marijuana products.

Each licensee could operate up to four medical cannabis centers, so statewide there would be a maximum of 40 places that people could purchase medical marijuana.

I live in a poor area, would any of the 40 medical cannabis centers open near me?

S711 says each licensee would be required to place at least two of their four medical cannabis centers in the state’s “Tier One” counties. Tier One counties are the ones that the state government classifies as its most economically distressed.

In 2021, there are 41 Tier One counties, so up to 20 of the shops would be spread among those 41 counties.

The remaining 20 medical cannabis centers would be among the state’s 59 other counties. Those are classified as Tier Two, better, or Tier Three, best, in terms of economic strength.

Production, sales and taxes

What background does a business need to get a medical cannabis supplier license for the production and sales of medical marijuana?

Potential medical marijuana cannabis supplier licensees need to provide documentation to show:

â–ş They have been a state resident for at least two years and will be the majority owner of their production facilities and their medical cannabis centers. They must be at least 21 years old.

► At least five years of experience in cultivation, production, extraction, product development, quality control, and inventory management of medical cannabis in a state-licensed medical or adult use cannabis operation. (This experience can come from non-resident business partners.)

â–ş Significant technical ability to cultivate, produce, and distribute medical cannabis in a manner that meets industry standards for production consistency and safety.

â–ş Experience in securing cannabis production, testing, resources, transportation, and personnel to operate as a safe and secure supplier in compliance with all state regulations.

â–ş The financial resources to operate for at least two years.

How much would production and sales licenses cost?

To apply for a license, medical cannabis providers must pay $50,000 nonrefundable fee plus plus $5,000 per proposed production facility or medical cannabis center.

Licenses would be renewed annually for $10,000 plus $1,000 for each production facility and medical cannabis center.

Would employees need licenses?

Each director and employee of a supplier must obtain a registration identification card, which would cost $250.

Would there be a medical marijuana tax?

Every month, suppliers would pay the state 10% of their gross receipts from sales of cannabis and cannabis-infused products. 

Could former criminals get licensed to produce and sell medical marijuana?

Some people with felony criminal records that don’t involve the illicit drug trade could get licensed. They would have to be at least five years past the completion of their criminal sentences (including the final date of any probation or parole).

What about people who possessed, made or sold illegal drugs?

That depends.

People with felony drug trafficking convictions involving items on North Carolina’s schedule I and schedule II lists of controlled substances would not be allowed to get medical cannabis supplier licenses. Examples of schedule I and schedule II drugs include cocaine, heroin, hallucinogenic, meth, morphine and oxycodone. There are dozens more.

Synthetic cannabinoids are on schedule I.

Marijuana is on schedule VI, so a past marijuana conviction would not preclude someone from getting a license.

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